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Prince Archie at 5: his luxury life in Montecito, charity visits with mum Meghan, and starting school

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's son was born in London in 2019

Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
May 6, 2024
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Sleeping soundly in his father's arms, Prince Archie made his public debut two days after his birth, with an overjoyed Duke and Duchess of Sussex describing being parents as "magic". 

His appearance in St George's Hall in Windsor Castle in May 2019 marked a break from royal family tradition, with no immediate photocall as his mum and dad expressed their wish for their son to grow up as a private citizen. 

Following his parents' relocation to the celebrity enclave of Montecito in Santa Barbara, California, Archie, who turns 5 on 6 May – is being raised there along with his two-year-old sister Princess Lilibet

He is settled at preschool, with both Prince Harry, 39, and 42-year-old Meghan juggling the nursery run in between work commitments. 

The next few months will see the red-haired youngster prepare to move to kindergarten – the first year of primary school – and according to Montecito resident Richard Mineards, there are plenty of fantastic schools to choose from. 

Harry holding newborn baby Archie© Getty
Archie made his public debut two days after his birth

"We have very good schools, which are not like England public schools, but they're state schools. And we have a very good one called Cold Spring School, which has got great ratings and that's in their catchment area," he said on HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast

Happy family

Few official photos of Archie have been released, but the Sussexes shared a glimpse into family life in their 2022 Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan. From helping bake courgette muffins to tending to the chickens and walking their three dogs, he is living an idyllic childhood. 

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"To have outdoor space where I can go for walks with Archie and we go for walks as a family and with the dogs – you know, we go on hikes or go down to the beach, which is so close," Harry told US chat-show host Oprah Winfrey in 2021. 

kitchen archie baking© Netflix
Archie baking courgette muffins with Meghan's niece, Ashleigh

The Duke and Duchess are also making sure that Archie understands that there are those less fortunate than him. A 2022 profile on Meghan in The Cut explained: "They are teaching Archie that some people live in big houses, some in small, and that some are in between homes. They made kits to pass out with water and peanut-butter crackers and granola bars. 'I ate one!' Archie contributes."

Early childhood

Archie spent the first six months of his life at the Sussexes' former home Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor estate, before experiencing his first snow in Canada during Harry and Meghan's six-week break on Vancouver Island. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet© Netflix
The Sussexes in Windsor for the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee

At five months old, he charmed on the royal tour of South Africa – his only outing with his parents on an official engagement – and showed an early love for books, giggling as Meghan read Duck! Rabbit! on his first birthday in 2020.  

meghan markle with son archie© Netflix
Storytime with mum Meghan

He "loves being a big brother", his mum has said, and was seen helping Lilibet to blow out her candles on her first birthday, which the family celebrated in the UK during Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. 

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Princess Lilibet blowing cake© Netflix
Celebrating little sister Lilibet's first birthday

Archie and Lilibet are Harry and Meghan's priority – after attending the King's coronation,  which coincided with his son's fourth birthday,  the Duke quickly flew back to the US. 

mother holding baby on sofa © Getty
Archie on the Sussexes' tour of Africa in 2019

This year, Archie's big day comes ahead of Harry's return to London this week to mark the tenth anniversary of the Invictus Games, before Meghan – who has partly Nigerian heritage – joins her husband in Nigeria later this month on Invictus business, after they were invited by the Nigerian government.

LISTEN: The reason why Meghan and her children don't want to visit the UK just yet


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